Zen Stories


As so many other good things, my best friend introduced me to the Zen stories. The zen way of life inspires me. maybe that is the kind of life, we should aim for. Where there is a balance. Every story can have multiple meanings or essence to it, based on how the reader perceives it. There are a lot of wonderful zen stories available to read, all over the net. I want to share a few, which are my favorite –

The Other Side

One day a young Buddhist on his journey home came to the banks of a wide river. Staring hopelessly at the great obstacle in front of him, he pondered for hours on just how to cross such a wide barrier. Just as he was about to give up his pursuit to continue his journey he saw a great teacher on the other side of the river. The young Buddhist yells over to the teacher, “Oh wise one, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river”?

The teacher ponders for a moment looks up and down the river and yells back, “My son, you are on the other side”.


Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there were puddles of water on the road sides. At one place a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk across because of a puddle of water. The elder of the two monks went up to a her lifted her and left her on the other side of the road, and continued his way to the monastery.

In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, “Sir, as monks, we cannot touch a woman ?”

The elder monk answered “yes, brother”.

Then the younger monk asks again, “but then Sir, how is that you lifted that woman on the roadside ?”

The elder monk smiled at him and told him ” I left her on the other side of the road, but you are still carrying her.


During a momentous battle, a Japanese general decided to attack even though his army was greatly outnumbered. He was confident they would win, but his men were filled with doubt. On the way to the battle, they stopped at a religious shrine. After praying with the men, the general took out a coin and said, “I shall now toss this coin. If it is heads, we shall win. If tails, we shall lose. Destiny will now reveal itself.”

He threw the coin into the air and all watched intently as it landed. It was heads. The soldiers were so overjoyed and filled with confidence that they vigorously attacked the enemy and were victorious. After the battle, a lieutenant remarked to the general, “No one can change destiny.”

“Quite right,” the general replied as he showed the lieutenant the coin, which had heads on both sides.

With this post, we reach the end of April and I reach the end of the A-Z challenge. This was a challenge I posed myself with, to see if I could consistently keep at something. I have this tendency to get bored with things easily and give them up mid way. Slacking must have been my middle name. :-/ But I have been trying to work on it, like the various other things I have been working on. So I think this went well? 🙂


15 Comments Add yours

  1. Satori says:

    You really did very well! I enjoyed reading every one of your posts for this challenge.. Not only that, I actually looked forward to the next days post! Your choice for every alphabet had a personal touch to it (not just a general write-up) and in fact I felt that your writing itself was very fluent and lovely! Hope you can write more often!

    1. Arch says:

      Hey Satori! Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to tell me how you found it! 🙂

  2. Monkey Mind says:

    Congrats arch! Logged into wp yesterday and now slowly catch in up with your posts. I have always adored your writing style- so effortless and intimate at the same time:)
    P.S. can you extend the challenge to May?
    P.P.S. The first and third stories are my favorite though when it comes to applying the same in my life, I suck!

    1. Arch says:

      Hey MM! Thanks so much! 🙂
      May? 😮 I don;t think I can sustain for so long.. and anyway I guess people would get bored too. 😛

      P.S: We all suck when we come to applying things practically!

      1. Monkey Mind says:

        Haha…yep, I thought so too. Another 30 days of writing maybe a bit too much 😛

        How true!

  3. Ramya says:

    First, kudos on completing the series challenge 🙂 catching up with all your posts as I was away frm blog world for most parts of last month..very beautiful writing from the heart,as always !I too have this tendency (should I call it a habit?) of getting bored very quickly..and used to wonder if there are others ,even a handful who feel this way and now that you have mentioned,i’m not alone..even I’m trying to get over this habit and get better, let’s see how it goes.

    1. Arch says:

      Thank you so much Ramya! 🙂 It’s such a wonderful feeling when people appreciate what I write. 🙂

      I think it is human tendency to get bored of routine stuff. We should keep a good mix of stuff, so we don’t get bored! What say? 😉

  4. Lavender says:

    Arch, Congrats on completing the challenge.. I can never do something like this you know.. being regular and completing a challenge and all *bows down* 🙂

    And, I think I need to catch up a lot in your blog..

    1. Arch says:

      Thank you so much! 😀 😀
      I hope you like all the catching up..

  5. I loved every post but this is just too inspiring. Am reading your post at 1AM and I feel so wonderful mid week. Things are that simple but I guess we forget that at times. I know a bit about zen but never read these stories before.. Thank you for sharing such inspiration throughout April. I love your writing -no pretense, no drama; simple thoughts in all honesty and written very well. Thanks Arch 🙂 hope to read you more often in the days to come as well..

    1. Arch says:

      Thank you so much Kismi! 😀
      There are lots of zen stories that you can read.. Simple yet so inspiring, like you told.

  6. Ramya says:

    Arch, I came across this one: http://thingsweforget.blogspot.sg/ and thought of sharing with you..This is not zen, but these are small statements but quite profound ones. I read that there is this guy leaves post-it-notes with these thoughts written on them all over Singapore. Check it out when you get time

    1. Arch says:

      What a wonderful thing you shared Ramya! Thank you so much! 🙂

  7. Bikramjit says:

    currently where I am , the mental stage i am , I need to read all these inspiring stories for sure .. thanks for sharing .. made my day for sure …

    1. Arch says:

      I think all of us go through such phases in life. We need to keep working on it.. I am glad you liked reading the post.. There are loads of such stories! Do read them! 🙂

Share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s